A couple of weeks back I finally did something I have been meaning to do for years; I got drunk in Kearny, NJ. Even though I lived 5 miles away in Jersey City for 5 years I somehow never managed to get my ass over there, always saying "I'll go next time" whenever an offer presented itself. But as it was the RBNY home opener, I decided to take a ride over there to hit The Scots Club before the game with a few buddies who are members and, as I was to discover, much better shuffle board players than I am.
My fascination with Kearny began back in the early 90's when I heard a TV commentator mention during a US nats match that 3 players where all from that same town. He described it as "Soccertown USA" and I let my young imagination run as wild as Fabien Barthez's keeping. I pictured it as this land that time forgot, where the children & grandchildren of Scots, Irish, and Portuguese immigrants kept the flame alive like nowhere else in America.
Truth be told it's not quite the throwback that I had imagined years ago but it is definitely a one of a kind place. There are small soccer pitches where you would typically see a basketball hoop, and when you go drinking in a place like The Scots Club the walls are covered with photos and memorabilia from local son John Harkes, touring Celtic teams from the 1940's and visitors like Pele & Eusebio. If you are the average soccer fan in America this is the type of place you never knew existed.
How did this happen in a seemingly random location? The short answer is immigration, and textiles but that doesn't really cover it. For an thorough explanation read Roger Allaway's Ranger, Rovers, & Spindle's; it's a little dry in places but what a history lesson.
The clip above is another Youtube gem; Rob Stone rocking a seriously 90's haircut, Rhett Harty in his "going out shirt", and 2 of the most Jersey children I have seen in a long time. Oh and Harkes tells us that Tab Ramos has really sexy underwear. OOOOOOOOKAy.